John Walawender
Heider College of Business Success Stories

John Walawender

John’s passion for the auto industry lead him to a dream internship, and career. 

He was a regular at car shows and events, including the international Auto Show, Woodward Dream Cruise and Concours d’Elegance.  And, he is a native of what some call “Motor City” - the Detroit, Michigan area.

So when an opportunity to intern with Chrysler Corporation in Auburn Hill, MI presented itself, he jumped on it. “The innovations in safety, features, performance and efficiency in the auto industry are particularly exciting,” states Walawender.

John’s passion for the auto industry lead him to a dream internship, and career. 

He was a regular at car shows and events, including the international Auto Show, Woodward Dream Cruise and Concours d’Elegance.  And, he is a native of what some call “Motor City” - the Detroit, Michigan area.

So when an opportunity to intern with Chrysler Corporation in Auburn Hill, MI presented itself, he jumped on it. “The innovations in safety, features, performance and efficiency in the auto industry are particularly exciting,” states Walawender.

As a Chrysler Brand intern, Walawender says he developed marketing strategies “through understanding customer wants and needs and analyzing the competitive environment.”

When Walawender first enrolled at Creighton, he wasn’t certain business was his vocation. He also considered physical therapy as a potential career path.  Creighton allowed him to test the academic waters in both business and the health sciences during his freshman year.  Business had a stronger pull.

The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in Walawender.  He established a lawn service in the 7th grade that was so successful he had to trade in his father’s Lawn Boy for industrial-grade equipment by his freshman year in high school.

Internships, he says, afforded him the opportunity to learn new concepts – about the companies for which he has worked and about himself. Creighton’s proximity to several Fortune 500 companies in Omaha was a draw. “Internships are always a major concern for all business majors, and I was no different,” Walawender says.

He knew Creighton would prepare him academically for the work force after graduation, but the many networking events and conferences have helped Walawender grow professionally as well. He also contends that spiritual development is just as important, with Creighton making service opportunities readily available to its students.  Volunteerism, in fact, was a component of the interview process: “My interviewer asked me about the service I have done in college so far and the role it has played in my formation and development as a Creighton student. I spoke about my participation in the Cortina Program [an academic, service based living-learning community centered on a call to do justice in the greater community].”

Given his love for cars, Walawender was ecstatic to receive a full time job offer from Ford Motor Company after he graduated with his business degree. John now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where his passion for the auto industry has taken him farther than he ever imagined.